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David Alston's Slaves & Highlanders

Sharing my research on Highland Scots, enslaved Africans, and the plantations of GUYANA


David Alston’s Slaves and Highlanders:  Silenced Histories of Scotland and the Caribbean, which won the Saltire Society History Book of the Year before going on to claim the overall Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year prize, was described by the judges as:

'The best book to date on Scottish involvement in chattel slavery and the impact of the gains from this on Highland Scotland. From his local, Cromarty, base the author engages forcefully with major historiographical debates relating to Scottish participation in the slave economy and challenges presentations of this in tourist literature and major heritage institutions. An informative book based solidly in research but immensely accessible.'


'David Alston's book adds substantially to out understanindg in a number of different and imaginative ways . . . [It is] timely and forms a revisionary contribution not only to Scottish history, but to our wider understanding of the centrality of slavery in the shaping of the West on the back of enslaved Africans.'

James Walvin, Family and Community History Journal (October 2022)


Listen on YouTube here


New article (18 January 2023)

'The Guyana Maroons, 1796–1834: Persistent and Resilient until the End of Slavery' in Slavery & Abolition (2023) at this link.

Forthcoming (August 2023): 'Christian Robertson (1780–1842) and a Highland network in the Caribbean: a study of complicity' in Scottish Highlands and the Atlantic World: Social Networks and Identities (Edited by Chris Dalglish, Karly Kehoe, Annie Tindley), EUP 2023.

Time to send back the money? North-east ‘slave’ fund interview special. Listen to David Alston discuss the Dick Bequest on The Stooshie: the politics podcast from DC Thomson Media

Recent events

My talk to the Scottish Church History Society autumn conference (2022) on All Saints Presbyterian Church, New Amsterdam, Berbice – built in 1820 for the white planter class and now a thriving Afro-Guyanese church.

Watch on You Tube at 1 hour 16 minutes into the recording.

There are about 400 pages of information on this site so it can be difficult to find your way around. If you know what you are looking for, try using the FIND box at the top of the right-hand column on this page which will search within this site.

For my other writings on slavery (and other topics) click in the image.
















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